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The Aspire Program

Career/Major Exploration

It’s not just about getting a great job. The Aspire Program™ is about understanding how your activities in and outside of work can help you to build a satisfying life.

Find your truth.

At Carthage College, we talk about vocation: finding something that you are drawn to, and becoming educated to gain the freedom to shape a purposeful life — a life with meaning and threaded with values and service.

Your vocation reflects your passion, skills, goals, and callings so that you might discover bridges to contentment and happiness, a direction, a path for chasing a dream, and an identity that knows and names what it desires and what is significant.

Rooted in the Lutheran tradition, vocation at Carthage is an integral component of our mission to seek truth, build strength, and inspire service — together. In coming to a better understanding of the world, we seek truth. By engaging in reflection and discernment, we build strength. In discovering how one’s life can improve the common good of all, we inspire service. Together, we ignite our passions and draw on our diverse talents to meet the world’s needs.

Don’t worry if you need help clarifying your path.

Passions often start as curiosities that are explored and nurtured. Few people have a consistent, lifelong passion, and fewer recognize their personal passion without some trial and error. Whether you are certain about your passion or are trying to figure it out, you will learn about yourself through The Aspire Program.

Find a path through faith.

Throughout the year, you can participate in small group and individual conversations to help you discern your path. Whatever your faith background, or if you don’t identify with a specific path, there are ways for you to reflect and explore. Learn more through the Center for Faith and Spirituality

What can you do with your major?

Do you want to learn more about the many career options for someone with a degree in your primary field of study? Visit Carthage’s Areas of Study page to find information on majors and minors, curriculum experiences, and more!


A Carthage student reviews class materials.

Getting Real

How real members of the Carthage community found their paths

The Aspire Program brings together students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Carthage to share stories and insights. Learn how others have found their paths in The Perfect Major: Six Strategies for Making the Right Choice.


“I came to Carthage as an English major, but I ended up switching to undecided.
Attending the Women’s March in Chicago really influenced my decision to pursue social work. That experience, as well as classes I’ve taken at Carthage, pushed me to figure out who I wanted to become.”
Haley Olson ’21